Mookie Betts will Produce 2nd Half Fantasy Value in 2014


Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox have scored the fewest amount of runs in the American League this season. That is a far cry from leading the league in runs last season in route to their eighth World Series championship.

Boston has been desperate for run production since spring training ended. The Red Sox thought they had found an on base and run-producing machine in converted outfielder Mookie Betts.

Betts reached base in every game for the AA Portland Sea Dogs until mid-May. Going back to last season, he reached base in 66 straight minor league games. During this time he also hit a very robust .355 while only striking out 8% of the time.

With Dustin Pedroia on board, there was no place for Betts in the Red Sox lineup as a second baseman, so he was converted into an outfielder after a promotion to AAA Pawtucket. After 107 at-bats at Pawtucket and hitting .322, he was called up to man the outfield in Boston.

A sample size of fewer than 50 at-bats in a Boston uniform will hardly quantify what we’ll see from Mookie Betts in the second half of the season. In the early going he has struggled to hit above .200. This is in sharp contrast to the batting average he put up this season in the minors.

He will make the necessary adjustments to get on base and should be very valuable in the second half of the season. Going by his minor league track record, if he can adjust to off speed pitching he will hit north of .280 in the second half.

He generally has a very good walk rate. If he can put up a walk rate above 12% in the second half to go with a strikeout rate less than 10% the Red Sox will have themselves a very productive hitter in the outfield.

He has some speed when he gets on the base paths. I expect him to be able to steal 8-10 stolen bases in the second half. The kind of contact and on base skills that he possesses means that Betts shouldn’t have a problem swiping this many bags.

Looking for someone with upside going into the second half of the season, Mookie Betts can be a very valuable addition to your lineup. He’s not going to set the world on fire but he will contribute in batting average, runs and stolen bases for your team.

A lot of owners will shy away from him because of his slow start. You will have plenty of opportunity to pick him up off of the waiver wire before he gets hot and owners realize how much he can contribute from a fantasy standpoint.

If he doesn’t make the necessary adjustments he will wind up back in Pawtucket trying to improve on what went wrong in Boston. All we will cost you is a waiver wire selection.

I believe he sticks in Boston and he will help your team rack up fantasy points in three crucial fantasy categories for the second half of the season.